Friday, June 25, 2004

Head scratcher

OK, here's one for the amateur ornithologists in the crowd.

I'm on my way in to work this morning, sitting at a red light (Irwin and Auburn Aves, not that it matters) and I notice this really strange scene over on the sidewalk.

Three birds of the type you often see picking around restaurant patios (not pigeons) were standing around a half-eaten apple. Two of these birds were dusty brown, and one was mostly black. They all appeared to be the same kind of bird, and they were all about the same size.

The black one was furiously picking at the apple as the brown ones just stood there. Every time the black one stood back up with some apple bits, the brown ones would open their mouths like baby birds do in a nest. The black bird would stick his beak into one of their mouths and feed them, then pick at the apple for more.

This went on for the entire time I was sitting at the light. The black one kept working like crazy to feed the brown ones. I didn't see it save any for itself, and the brown ones had no interest in picking their own apple.

So the question is - what up with that?

The best I can figure - applying human behavior - is that the black one is a dude and the brown ones are ladies. Dude wants some avian lovin', and the pick/feed move is akin to buying a lady drinks.

But these ladies appear to be just stringing the dude along. They know he's not getting any (why else would they both take the drinks - I mean apple?) and are happy to act interested for as long as he wants to pick at the apple.

I imagine not long after I left, another - slightly larger - black bird showed up and the brown birds flew off with him, leaving the little black bird with no apple, and no ladies.

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